Hillary, Obama and McCain Will Be in the Senate for Iraq Hearings

The Senate Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee are holding hearings on Iraq Tuesday. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain will all be in attendance.

All will be hoping to establish their bona fides through questioning of key witesses, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocke.

Someone suggested that Obama be moved up past his seniority level in the order of questioning. Joe Biden, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, put the kabosh on that idea.

"The biggest mistake we could make is politicizing this, looking at this in terms of political advantage," he said. "The American people are sick of this."

McCain has the advantage, as ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee: (More...)

McCain will have a distinct logistical advantage, Republicans are quick to note. As the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, he will deliver the second statement and the second set of questions, and will have the right to interject at will. Allies said he is likely to toss out Clinton's statement from the September hearing that it would take "a willing suspension of disbelief" to accept Petraeus's security assessment, and Clinton -- lacking seniority -- will only be able to watch.

Joe Lieberman, also on the Committee, likely will back up McCain.

Obama ranks 13th in seniority on the Foreign Relations Committee:

Obama may be in even worse shape. The Foreign Relations Committee, famous for its long-winded and assertive chairman, will not begin its hearing until 2:30, and if all members show, Obama would be 13th to speak -- possibly after the evening news. Biden made it clear Friday he plans no deference to the junior senator from Illinois, saying that would be "putting a big light up, saying this is all politics." Obama aides said Friday he had not asked to be moved up in the questioning.

Obama supporter John Kerry downplayed the significance for Obama. Obama, apparently, doesn't agree, and like the other two candidates, "has been preparing diligently."

Obama told reporters aboard his campaign plane Friday that he will press Petraeus and Crocker to answer a question pointedly posed in September by former Armed Services Committee chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.): Has the Iraq war made the nation safer?

"Essentially, what we've seen both from the administration and from John McCain is a trumpeting of improvements from a horrific situation to simply a unsustainable and intolerable situation," Obama said. "It's looking at the entire picture that I think is the obligation of the president."

McCain's strategy will be to claim ownership of the surge:

Committee Republicans said McCain is ready to challenge Clinton on her statements from September. And he is likely to take ownership of the "surge" strategy that sent tens of thousands more troops to Iraq and refocused their mission on civilian security.

"The two big themes will be: 'Did my theory or belief that more combat power lead to a more stable Iraq? Did that work?' And secondly: 'Okay, if we change strategy, if we adopt the Clinton-Obama pathway, what's the most likely consequence?' " Graham said.

As for Hillary's focus:

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said the senator will press Petraeus and Crocker on what she sees as a lack of political progress in Iraq, the rising influence of Iran and "the strain on our military caused by the continuing presence of large numbers of troops in Iraq."

What's it all mean? Not much, except for a lot of soundbites on the evening news and cable talk shows.

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    Also... (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by ROK on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:20:28 AM EST
    I lived in Japan for several years and I now live in Korea and when I hear McCain just casually mention that he wants Iraq to be like a Japan or South Korea it makes me furious. How can this guy just assume that this is okay? The guy was in Viet Nam for Christ sakes. He should know how this kind of thing goes.

    Regardless of his "experience", he has never lived in ANY of these places, spoken the langauges, spent real time with normal people or with close family or friends. I've heard stories from my wife's grandmother (both are Korean) who survived occupation, the Korean War and still is on top of her game. As she puts it: "It was nice at first."

    Look, I have witnessed and experienced the level of resentment that these two amazing countries have towards America. I have seen dozens of very heated and violent protests in both nations over US policy and military behavior both in and out of these countries.

    Bottom line is that no matter what the government of either country insists that is "best", there is one thing that will always be a common thread: The people do not want the US here. They do not want an occupying force in their nation.

    I've read on here about commentors who have gotten so worked up (myself including) about this primary that they have thrown objects at the TV. Well, every time I hear McCain say something so preumptious and arrogant, the objects start flying.

    It is when I think about this that I am so thrilled to be a Democrat. I can't imagine living in America with 4 or 8 more years of this attitude. Keep this in mind when one of our candidates do not win this primary. 아이고!!

    Americans never stop to think (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:15:18 AM EST
    about how we would react if another country, no matter how well intentioned, had military bases in our country.  What if some small town in South Carolina was home to a French base and had the kind of dependent/resentful relationship to that base that some of the small towns in Japan and Korea have with our bases?  We would never tolerate that. In fact it is unimaginable.

    The inability of Americans to (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:13:51 AM EST
    sympathize with people who are living under occupation always blows me away.  I understand that they haven't endured occupation for two hundred plus years, but our culture is rich with attitudes, platitudes and iconography that should trigger some sort of negative reaction to the concept.  Sayings like "Don't tread on me" and "Live Free or Die" come to mind just off the top of my head.  

    OTOH maybe Americans wouldn't be as bothered about an occupation as we think they would.  Maybe that's just a "last century" kind of thing.


    As far as Korea goes (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:55:30 AM EST
    I've been to Korea as well and the older Koreans who lived through the war or grew up while South Korea was rebuilding after that war are pro American.  The ROK military doesn't care for the U.S. troops but how can I blame them?  They always let me know at the gate though that I'm only visiting and that's okay with me, it is their country.  I saw lots of protests too outside the OSAN gates and they are mostly college kids and part of a college class taught about political activism.  I witnessed older Koreans fighting with these kids and telling them they didn't know what they were talking and that they had led sheltered lives and had idealistic opinions...uniting the Koreas.  The summer I was last there the people in North Korea were starving to death and the video of the little boy attempting to eat on the corpse in the street was smuggled out of North Korea.  In South Korea we were all well fed and the only difference was the government the two groups of Koreans were under.  There will always be problems  between the Korean and United States cultures, perfection does not exist in the world.....a greater good for many many souls is served though by keeping South Korea as free as it is right now and even the Dali Lama agrees on this.  If South Korea is capable of caring for herself I'm all about not having to do tours to Korea!  The North Korean military is huge though and just about the only way you can guarantee that you'll eat when living there sometimes.

    Nope... (none / 0) (#135)
    by ROK on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:18:06 PM EST
    I saw lots of protests too outside the OSAN gates and they are mostly college kids and part of a college class taught about political activism.  I witnessed older Koreans fighting with these kids and telling them they didn't know what they were talking and that they had led sheltered lives and had idealistic opinions...uniting the Koreas.

    And here is the issue that McCain doesn't get. You can't just "witness" a few things like that and assume that is the overall feeling of the people. As I said, the older people DID like the US in Korea at first, but in no way do they like them now. I have talked to countless people IN KOREAN about this issue. (I say that because the older population who speaks English is not representative of the nation, nor does that suggest that non-English speakers are somehow less qualified or vocal.)

    Your opinion mirrors that of military personnel and it simply is not reality.

    May I ask when you were in Korea?


    Cheap shot. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Fabian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:59:05 AM EST
    It takes Congress to legally institute a Draft instead of the various Stop Loss and Extensions that this current administration has used.  A better move would be to send an open letter to Bush and the Joint Chiefs asking if Congress should begin working on Draft legislation.  Put the ball in their court.

    If you want to pin it on the Administration, you ask about troop readiness, recruiting, retention and so on.  And you only do that if you have the statistics compiled into a report some clever staffer has created for you.  (Some committee members come to hearings woefully unprepared.)

    "Bush's War" by Front Line should be required viewing, if for no other reason than to point out the multiple different ways this administration has screwed up their Iraq adventure and to ask why we shouldn't expect them to continue to screw up.

    hmmm . . . (none / 0) (#5)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:21:36 AM EST
    "you ask about troop readiness, recruiting, retention and so on."

    I wonder if anyone will go there . . . Wonk ;)


    It ought to be blazingly obvious. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Fabian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:19:05 AM EST
    Support The Troops, eh?

    The trick is to come across as sincerely concerned about The Troops and National Security and not just blatantly pandering.

    I am concerned.  I've also never understood how Iraq was critical to National Security.  


    Two Things (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:46:23 AM EST
    One is on topic.  Anti-Iraq war activism is based in ideology.  That ideology is anti-war activism.

    Anyone who has read more than 12 articles (yes, 12 articles, it takes some effort) and does NOT have an ideological agenda will understand that the consequences of the Iraq war are the product of choices made in execution, NOT in inception.

    It could have been handled better.  Better means less lives lost.  Better means less money spent.  Better means a political solution sooner rather than later.  Better could mean a functioning democracy as we write all this. Right now!!!!

    Did you hear that?  Better means less lives lost.  Better means less money spent.  Better means a political solution sooner rather than later.

    Nobody gets it.

    Not even on this blog.

    Nobody gets it.

    Second thing.  Off topic.

    BTD massaging MeteorBlades while ..... I'll cut the comment short.  I expect BTD to treat fellow alumni bloggers the same way he treats the rest of us lame commenters.

    MB deserves excoriation.  That is all.

    Without excoriation of MB's perspective there will never be unity post-primary.


    End of story.

    It.  Will.  Not.  Happen.

    Not by politely disagreeing with someone like MB.

    Someone like MB needs to be more than just politely refuted.

    Ok.  MB isn't as bad as David Sirota.

    Don't post links here to Dkos anymore.

    It hurts my ability to be a Dem going forward.

    Actually I agree with you about Iraq, and (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 07:47:06 AM EST
    I'm sure many here do as well.
    Separate from the question of whether we should have gone to war with Iraq is that of whether we could have done better. To deny that possibility is to deny agency to Bush and his band of incompetents.
    I also think the AUMF was a good idea; the problem was Bush.

    You should take your show on the road. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:46:23 AM EST
    When the Excoriator arrives in town, tickets will be hard to come by.

    In case I'm not being clear: your ability to be a Dem going forward seems to require some serious coddling.


    Coddling? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:22:58 AM EST
    I've been on the outside looking in for 6 years now.

    Who do you think has been coddled during this primary?


    Demanding that dissenting (none / 0) (#71)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:17:14 AM EST
    views to your own be suppressed in order to help you be a Democrat?

    Coddling is a polite word to describe what you're asking for.

    Also, if you've been sitting on your hands for 6 years now, I suggest you ask yourself what you've been waiting for.

    In case you've forgotten, hundreds of thousands of citizens all over the planet marched against this war before the invasion. Many have continued organizing to oppose it or to help alleviate the most horrific consequences of it.


    You think I'm suppressing (none / 0) (#76)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:24:32 AM EST
    Your views.

    I think my view in this is suppressed too.

    Indeed, it appears I'm not allowed to have one unless I'm marching in protest.


    Read your original post. (none / 0) (#87)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:36:08 AM EST
    You. Demanded. Something. Be. Suppressed.

    As far as I can see no one has asked you not to express support for the invasion, only to explain it.


    Not suppressed (none / 0) (#93)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:46:42 AM EST
    But criticized, indeed excoriated for their divisive view of the matter.

    It's very simple.  If I have to conclude that everyone who voted for the AUMF is everything everyone says they are, then fine, blow up the party.

    Or reduce it.  Whatever.

    Just leave me out of it.


    I want to understand you pov (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:30:52 AM EST
    You believe that going into Iraq was something we needed to do?

    Unlike Barack Obama (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:53:27 AM EST
    I do not believe the situation would have resolved itself over time.

    What situation? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:56:29 AM EST
    OK (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:06:06 AM EST
    There was no situation in Iraq that required addressing.

    At least that's what BHO thought.


    How does your position differ (none / 0) (#37)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:24:47 AM EST
    substantively from McCain's?

    I just do not agree that invading Iraq was the best option.


    From an ideological perspective (none / 0) (#42)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:27:49 AM EST
    My position is no different than McCain's.

    Practically speaking the first thing I'll point out is that McCain thinks Dems aren't capable of handling such situations.  

    I think they are.


    Given that the original war was (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:50:50 AM EST
    sold on the basis of WMD's.  What is the primary justification for the original invasion,  and it's timing,  that you think still holds up today and has you still feeling that it was the right thing to do?

    I would imagine that you accept that your position is not one shared by more than a third of the American people,  or about 10% of the Democratic party,  so I'd be interested in hearing your thinking.  It's clear that Hillary seems to be professing some kind of similar outlook,  that is being soft-pedalled for the primary.  However I'm  inclined to believe that her actual beliefs are more traditionally anti war but that she voted for AUMF out of political calculations with regards to the GE.


    I know (none / 0) (#73)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:19:41 AM EST
    The view that we should not have has superceded the view that we should have done better.

    I know my perspective on this is very unpopular.

    Did you know that before the Iraq army was disbanded and looting and chaos became the norm in Iraq, we were actually greeted as liberators there for about a week or so?


    I do know that. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:25:03 AM EST
    and maybe if there had been enough boots on the ground to adequately secure the country and stop looting and restore services/utilities etc then perhaps that honeymoon would have lasted a little bit longer.

    But unless your strategy was to retain the Iraqi army,  install an American backed strongman and then withdraw again very quickly I think it is naive to think that the welcome would not have worn out very quickly indeed.

    The only reason the ethnic strife in Iraq between Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd had been repressed previously was down to a brutal dictatorship and repression of the shiites and Kurds by the Sunni minority.  Without replacing Saddam with another strongman in a similar mould some degree of ethnic strife and civil war was inevitable.


    That's a cynical view of Iraqis (none / 0) (#79)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:27:23 AM EST
    That they were incapable -- because of ethnic strife -- of having a country to themselves without a dictator implementing perpetual marshall law.

    I guess maybe you are right.

    I wonder if they've figured that out by now.


    I think if you were very cynical (none / 0) (#86)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:35:37 AM EST
    about the outlook for Iraq prior to the invasion when making predictions,  you would have come out looking very prescient.

    Now whether that is a reflection of the Iraqi's,  or the competence of the Bush administration is another matter.  Having said that,  it's instructive that the Bush administration and Bush before the war didnt seem to understand that there was more than one kind of Muslim,  and that McCain still doesnt seem to understand the difference between the Sunni AQI, the various Shiite groups,  all backed to a greater or lesser degree by Iran including the current Iraqi government.  I just don't see what good the continuing coalition presence is doing in Iraq.  I just don't see how getting in the middle of a civil war between the Iranian backed Maliki + Badr Corps, vs. Sadr's less Iranian backed Mehdi army vs. Sunni militias and awakening councils (backed by the US + Saudi Arabia) + the smallest of these,  the sunni AQI which is probably being supported by Saudi benefactors.  Of course throw in the Kurd's on the sidelines as well.

    Why are we there?


    But is the prescience (none / 0) (#90)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:43:45 AM EST
    A product of the will of Iraqis.

    Or incompetent handling of the situation.

    Should an Iraqi look at what's happening right now and make the following conclusions:

    1.  We're not ready.

    2.  I wish Saddam was still in charge.

    Maybe they do.

    But I would say they have been victims of criminal negligence in this matter.


    I think an argument can be made (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:54:46 AM EST
    along the lines that you presumably are,  that if the US came in with a goal of liberating the Iraqi people,  reconstructing the place and then getting out,  that this if competently executed would have left the Country in a better position than it was before the invasion.  It would also probably have the support of the majority of Iraqis,  by dint of the fact that it would presumably leave the Shiites in charge in much of the country, with the Kurds in charge of their own federal and autonomous oil rich region including Kirkuk.  Of course the Sunni's, who had, at least until the invasion been the lords of all they purveyed, would probably have still been p'd off and had some kind of insurgency.

    Now,  you can make that argument.  I still don't see how it was our fight, or that it was in the US national interest given other competing priorities for the military (see Afghanistan) and for money.   So Saddam Hussein was a bad person,  there are any number of other oppresive dictators out there that are backed by the US.


    If you're concerned about self-interest (none / 0) (#116)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:38:44 PM EST
    Then yes, our society does live on oil.

    There were both self-interest and humanitarian reasons.

    The soft-power landscape becomes problematic, but not insurmountable for someone who knows what they are doing.

    Right now, yes.  It would be impossible to think that U.S. interest in Iraq is based on anything other than sheer greed.

    But that, again, is a byproduct of execution, not a byproduct of inception.


    Time FOr YOu (none / 0) (#107)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:15:05 PM EST
    TO sign up and warmonger over in Iraq.  And your purity schtick is almost as nauseating as your claim to know something about Iraq.

    I was wondering who would be first (none / 0) (#117)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:39:40 PM EST
    With the sign up or shut up sing song.

    You Want Others (none / 0) (#120)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:00:28 PM EST
    To fight your war while you pontificate about your purity and great knowledge and insight about how to win. Sounds exactly like a keyboard kommando aka chickenhawk to me.

    It was bound to happen (none / 0) (#121)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    Sooner or later.

    Do You Think (none / 0) (#131)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:02:20 PM EST
    Soldiers fighting for you are like domestic servants? If you are too important to fight than your war is not very important.

    Yeah, mm hm. Yep. (none / 0) (#132)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:04:55 PM EST
    That's exactly what I think.

    So you thought there was one? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:25:32 AM EST
    It's okay if you did.  I'm not saying that you are wrong.  I do question if going into Iraq was our only option or even a good idea.  The options weren't ours to pick though.  The current administration got to pick which options it would even entertain and that was what we got to work with.

    If it's a real discussion (none / 0) (#44)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:32:46 AM EST
    And not some Dem party consultant fight for power, I think you're right.

    No one ever discussed reasons why it was not a good option.  Thanks to Bush and co. discussing those reasons was vilified.

    Question is, are we embracing a political environment where reasons why it was a good option are equally vilified?


    And I understand completely where (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:40:41 AM EST
    you are coming from because what is done is done and nobody knows that better than I do. The only thing left is to finish this thing.  We can't go back and undo anything that his been done so far, all we can do is go forward from here and that is where the majority of my concern lies.  I too am sick and tired of hearing about how this should not have happened.  It's too late, it has happened and we need to take care of this NOW!  Debating whether the Iraq War should have happened is like beating a can of dogfood.  Voting to fund the Iraq War put the label on the can!

    Yes But (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:20:08 PM EST
    Claiming that the only reason the war was not won was/is because the Drum had an R on it is absurd. That mentality is akin to calling for 100 more years. It the McBush/McCain position.

    I didn't think anyone in this thread (none / 0) (#127)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:34:53 PM EST
    was making that claim.

    Close Enough (none / 0) (#130)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:57:54 PM EST
    Anyone who has read more than 12 articles (yes, 12 articles, it takes some effort) and does NOT have an ideological agenda will understand that the consequences of the Iraq war are the product of choices made in execution, NOT in inception.

    It could have been handled better.  Better means less lives lost.  Better means less money spent.  Better means a political solution sooner rather than later.  Better could mean a functioning democracy as we write all this. Right now!!!!

    Edgar08 believes that the R's were incompetent but someone like him or Clinton would have been able to win this necessary war.

    I do not think he is arguing that McCain can win this, even though he has stated that his views are the same as McSame regarding the war.


    Well that inception thing (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:18:34 PM EST
    that is pretty close ;)  This is the new think though coming out of Stratfor.  Not that agree mind you, but we will be getting more of this until someone more in the know than I begins to tick off our other options at the time.

    The Iraq war was a war of aggression. (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by RickTaylor on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:07:32 AM EST
    We should never have invaded.

    War should always be a last resort. It should only be use if we or an ally have been attacked, or are are about to be attacked, or in response to a humanitarian disaster.

    War should always be the last option. Before initiating war, we should always give the other party every opportunity to back down, we should not go to war if we can achieve our ends by diplomatic means.

    The Iraq war was a war of aggression. Just as no civilized country should permit slavery, or torture, no civilized country should start one. It is our shame as a nation that we did, one that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of people.

    I'm depressed that the rightness or wrongness of our original course is even a serious subject of debate, given the last five years.


    I know (none / 0) (#65)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:10:53 AM EST
    ..... that there is more to this discussion than what you just said.

    We blew it in Iraq. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Fabian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:24:04 AM EST
    It will take us at least a decade just to get back to Day One, in terms of infrastructure, civilian rule and even independent military.

    Now we need a regional solution more than ever - the US should have never gone it alone to begin with.  (Coalition my sorry *!)


    From a Democratic Brand perspective (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:36:48 AM EST
    There has always been a choice between saying:

    1.  The iraq war could have never worked.

    2.  The iraq war could have worked if Dems handled it.

    I don't accept the premise. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:26:45 AM EST
    Sure,  Democrats can make the incompetence argument.  Sure the Bush administration has screwed things up royally and with a competent Democratic administration things could be much much better.  You can still make that argument without validating the argument that it was a good idea to drive the country into the ditch that is Iraq, in the first place (to borrow one of Obama's metaphors).

    Obama's metaphor misses the point (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:53:53 AM EST
    The metaphor only works if you assume that Iraq would have been the same ditch no matter who was driving the bus.

    Indeed I think Obama, just by using that metaphor, makes a choice between the two options I described above.

    If you're saying that the two options do present a sort of false choice, well that's great.


    Why not focus on Afghanistan? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:00:56 AM EST
    Could the actual invasion and invasion plans for Iraq have been managed better.  Yes.

    With a larger force and a less ideological and more competent management of the reconstruction and the CPA then things would certainly be less FUBAR'd now that they actually are.

    None of this changes my belief that invading Iraq was a galactically idiotic thing to do and a profound misallocation of resources.


    There was not just one way (none / 0) (#63)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:08:04 AM EST
    To invade iraq.

    The allocation of resources, as it stands today, is more a product of how than why.


    On point two: (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:32:07 AM EST
    The Iraq war could have worked if...

    The reality is that it was never going to "work".  The only thing that Dems might have had a hope in hell of doing better was handling the post-invasion civil infrastructure, but the reality is that we whacked a beehive - poked a time bomb that was just waiting to explode.  Removing the dictator actually wasn't in our best interest at all and by ignoring the realities of governing a state in a post-dictatorial state completely blew any chance of being credible referees in a country that is rife with tribal, cultural and religious conflict.

    Iraq is not culturally, socially or politically ready to undertake democracy as we know it.  A democratic society is developed over decades of changing perspectives and social change.  It took 200 plus years for Americans in the New World to break with England and create a democracy.  That was due to a long, slow ideological revolution that took place amongst the people - not the leadership.

    The idea that we could go in and instantly make Iraq a sovereign democratic country was folly beyond all belief imo.  Going in no matter who led up the effort was going to mean staying for decades.  John McCain is actually correct - the only argument that I can make against him and his assertion that it could be 100 years, is that he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to wrap it up which means we will be there for 100 years.  Others like Clinton or Obama who are more motivated to get out - who are actually willing to at least draw up an emergency withdrawl plan which the GOP refuse to do - people who are willing to invest heavily in alternate energy resources so that the oil in Iraq won't be as much of a sticking point with respect to leaving - at least they have the right attitude which gives us a hope that we might be out much, much quicker - but they are still tied by reality and the reality is that Iraq is really, really screwed up and everyone is afraid of leaving it that way.

    But any student of history would have known that going in as we did was never going to be a quickie six month affair.  Any student of history understood that when we took Saddam out, we were committing to a lengthy occupation.  What few didn't anticipate was that BushCult would administer that part so badly that we'd be in for doing much, much more time than some of the worst predictions indicated.  I mean 100 years!  Sheesh.


    As stated elsewhere (none / 0) (#89)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:40:09 AM EST
    I believe that is a cynical view of the Iraq people.

    But no.  Nothing happens overnight.  I know there is ethnic and religious strife that I have seen reconciled to some degree in my lifetime.

    I also believe that's what moderate, what moderates are left in Iraq (again due to incompetence), want.


    It is not cynical. (none / 0) (#122)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:15:24 PM EST
    Iraq under Saddam, like a lot of other places in this world, was not an environment where the rights and responsibilities of citizenship were interpreted in the same way as they are here.

    I've lived in a few different countries over the course of my life, I have a lot of friends who are not American and in my experience even some of the other democracies that we would point to as being similar to ours are on many levels very different from ours.

    Moving from a dictatorship society to a democratic society takes a lot of work.  I think the people who thought it would be a snap - hold an election and get instant "democracy" - exhibited a level of arrogance and ignorance that was quite stunning.  I have to wonder how they made it through kindergarten with so little understanding of human nature.


    Again (none / 0) (#123)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:16:43 PM EST
    Not a snap.

    Not impossible either.

    Somewhere in between.


    It is impossible to do what they (none / 0) (#125)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:28:52 PM EST
    said they were going to do and a lot of people Republicans and Democrats alike bought into "six months - a year tops".

    Nothing in what I wrote in either comment was meant to suggest that it was impossible - just that it is hard as hell to radically change a country, culture and the political system therein if your objective is democracy.  If you want a dictatorship... that can be done in less than a week, but a stable democracy is very hard to achieve.


    The expectations Republicans put out (none / 0) (#126)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:33:26 PM EST
    Were, to my way of thinking, while it was part of their argument, it was also a subset of their incompetence.

    It made things worse.


    Not to worry (none / 0) (#58)
    by litigatormom on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:01:26 AM EST
    McSame will address the VFW later today and proclaim that we are no longer staring into the abyss of defeat in Iraq.

    I want what he's smoking.


    And the funniest and most ironic thing (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:19:17 AM EST
    about that sppech to the VFW, is that while McCain was in the middle of arguing why Bush's surge had dramatically turned things around in Iraq, MSNBC cut to breaking news that the Green Zone had been hit with at least 4 mortars.

    You can't buy timing like that.


    As I recall (none / 0) (#129)
    by litigatormom on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:57:01 PM EST
    during the worst periods of violence last year, Bush argued that increased violence was actually a sign of progress because it showed how we were "taking the battle to the enemy."

    That's how brilliant Bush's war is. Violence is up -- we have the enemy on the run. Violence is down -- we have the enemy on the run.

    There's nothing like being able to make your own reality for ensuring success.


    McCain is fairly easy to figure out (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:29:30 AM EST
    our military is broken so nobody is staying in Iraq in any sort of substantial numbers.....nobody.  McCain is going to say though that he'll stay in Iraq however long it takes and play to his base.  Once he's president he will declare victory in Iraq and start pulling troops and write up the whole war as victorious and try to chalk the whole thing up the Republican party changing the dynamics of and dealing a psychological blow to Islamic Extreme Middle East.  It is what Ronald Reagan would have done.  The king makes the war rules in this country.  Then lefties will argue that that isn't what really happened and there really wasn't any victory and everybody will argue their talking points until everyone is blue in the face and I will take a nap.  But the Republicans will have ended it and they will get credit for it as well as credit for starting it and it was costly but it was needed is how they'll write it up.

    Eternal Optimism (none / 0) (#109)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:25:01 PM EST
    Not a bad thing, considering your position. I can empathize.

    Considering my position (none / 0) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:38:00 PM EST
    We haven't much more to stay in Iraq with.  We are running a risk of revealing military weakness if something pops someplace else and our leaders do know this, even McCain does.

    The reps already have the one thing (none / 0) (#138)
    by RTwilight on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 12:32:59 AM EST
    they most wanted...a permanent base in Iraq...this was all just the peice placement in a giant geme of Risk

    With bases in Turkey, Iraq and Suadi Arabia, they have big sticks hanging over the heads of the producers of a third of global oil supplies...

    The Bush administration could give a crap about all the 'good of the Iraqi people' junk they've been spouting


    Yep, Edgar, there was nothing wrong ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:32:22 AM EST
    ...with going into Iraq in the first place. Nothing wrong with the lies that were told to get us there. Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, worked with Al Qaeda to kill people on 9/11 and plotted to murder GHW Bush. An invasion and occupation had to be initiated even if the evidence was bogus. The only problem was that the guys who told the lies were also incompetent. Now that is something to be upset about it.

    And, of course, your view isn't ideological. Especially since you've read a dozen articles on the war. And maybe even half a chapter in a book.


    No (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:04:53 AM EST
    Caricaturizing my viewpoint is crap.

    I'm no more supportive of lies than Obama or you was supportive of Hussein's regime.

    See?  I can do the same to you!


    I didn't say you thought the lies ... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:26:58 AM EST
    ...were a good thing. I said that the lies are less important to your point of view regarding the war than the incompetence with which those who told the lies have exhibited in Iraq. As for caricaturing a point of view, you've taken the cake in that department, repeatedly.

    In a way, yes (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:47:21 AM EST
    If it was handled better, even perhaps successfully, no one would care about the lies except someone with an ideological perspective on the issue.

    As it is, in this case, the lies were part of the incompetence.


    Why do you think (none / 0) (#52)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:50:41 AM EST
    we should have gone into Iraq?

    Seriously, no snark.


    I have the same question? (none / 0) (#56)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:54:49 AM EST
    Presumably Edgar would not still hold the belief that it was a good idea if the reasoning was purely down to WMD's.

    Was it part of the neocon strategy for creating a beacon for democracy in the middle east?

    Liberating the oppressed Iraqi people?

    Securing oil supplies?

    I'd be interested to hear what the reasoning is.  And does it necessitate a long term presence in Iraq?


    Again (none / 0) (#59)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:02:14 AM EST
    My argument here isn't about why but how.

    It may not be snark, but I do think your question is rhetorical, suffice to say, I do not think Hussein would have dissappeared into a dustbin of history all on his own.  

    The choice would have always remained.  Allow Saddam to control Iraq or do something about it.



    No, my question is not rhetorical. (none / 0) (#61)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:05:34 AM EST
    I don't see why we needed to "control" Iraq.

    Please explain why you think we did.


    I didn't say we should control (none / 0) (#64)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:09:00 AM EST

    You are not answering me. (none / 0) (#70)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:16:45 AM EST
    I'm sorry if I am misunderstanding you. You said this:

    The choice would have always remained.  Allow Saddam to control Iraq or do something about it.

    Why did we need to do something about it? What was wrong with Saddam being in charge of Iraq?

    Again, no snark.


    If your perspective is (none / 0) (#74)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:21:30 AM EST
    That there was nothing wrong with Saddam being in control of Iraq, then my answers won't make any sense to you.

    You don't know what my perspective is. (none / 0) (#78)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:27:15 AM EST
    You are simply repeatedly refusing to state your reasons that you personally believe that we had to "do something about" Saddam.

    Yet, you claim you want an honest discussion of the issues!

    I am simply asking you why, and you insult and dismiss me be saying I "won't understand".

    You seem to be confusing the words "understand" and "agree."


    Then I'll try (none / 0) (#84)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:33:20 AM EST
    And I'll try by asking a simple question.

    Sanctions created starvation and death of millions of Iraqis.

    Who was responsible for those deaths????

    The people who imposed those sanctions?

    Or the guy who refused to abide by international law so that those sanctions could be lifted?

    This question usually gives people a good idea of where I'm coming from on this.


    You are not trying. (none / 0) (#95)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:52:09 AM EST
    You are just asking "Gotcha" questions.

    Is that what passes for respectful, honest discussion in your world?


    Not a gotcha question (none / 0) (#102)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:03:45 PM EST
    Do you think the sanctions were fair?

    Please answer the question (none / 0) (#88)
    by Lou Grinzo on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:39:54 AM EST
    I just stumbled over this long exchange, and it reads like someone saying, "guess what I'm thinking" repeatedly.

    I think this is a very serious topic and one of considerable interest to most people here.  I'm convinced we can have a substantive, mutually respectful discussion about why the US should or shouldn't have started this war.

    So, please tell us why you think invading Iraq in 2003 was the right decision.


    Not so much exactly in 2003 (none / 0) (#94)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:50:15 AM EST
    I think it was unavoidable given the intractability of Saddam Hussein.

    But 2003, going it alone, all those things are issues I file under incompetence.

    I tried to answer the question above.


    What was he being intractable about? (none / 0) (#96)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:53:07 AM EST
    Not taking a position here (none / 0) (#112)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:30:07 PM EST
    but people were worried about the sanctions and their effects on Iraqi citizens. I don't think it's a fantasy to think that Saddam Hussein had ambitions beyond his borders and the sanctions were designed, if I recall correctly, to help keep him in a box. They were effective, but the Iraqi people suffered greatly because of them.

    I'm not saying we should have invaded; the official rationale was based on a lie and I do not generally believe that good policies come out of lies. I'm saying only that it was a very complicated situation. The Iraqi people did not deserve to live under sanctions any more than they deserve what has happened to them since the invasion.


    You are probably right that far fewer .... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:21:54 AM EST
    ...people would object had things gone better by means of better planning, a larger initial commitment of troops, better managers, and a more thoroughgoing understanding of the Iraqi people. But your implication that you view in this matter isn't ideological is, pardon me, hilarious.

    It's not (none / 0) (#85)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:34:34 AM EST
    My view is strictly based on execution and results.

    You could say my adherence to those measures is strict to the point of appearing ideological, I guess.


    After preparing dilligently (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:59:36 AM EST
    this is his question?

    Obama told reporters aboard his campaign plane Friday that he will press Petraeus and Crocker to answer a question pointedly posed in September by former Armed Services Committee chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.): Has the Iraq war made the nation safer?

    I'm sure Obama will manage to say that he opposed the war from the start while asking this question that he 'borrowed' from Warner. Petraueus will rightly answer that that is a policy call that is not his to make.  Asking that question immediately brings politics into the hearing, exactly what Biden says he is trying to avoid.

    If he is borrowing questions, can he at least borrow them from Democrats?

    Yeah - I have to tell you that I am just (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:15:19 AM EST
    blown away by the sheer brilliance of such a question; I just know that that one will knock Petraeus for a loop, and since Obama will be bringing the mind eraser he borrowed from Will Smith, no one will remember that that was John Warner's question.

    Makes me think that all this time that he hasn't been holding subcommittee meetings or hearings, it's because he has been diligently preparing and just hasn't come up with questions or insights that could match that level of brilliance and mastery - and hasn't found any that he could borrow, either.  I mean, if you can't be brilliant and transcendent, why bother?

    Seriously, I don't know whether to laugh or cry these days.


    Really, I get more annoyed (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:36:37 AM EST
    the more I think about it.  I can only hope that the reporter just didn't write all Obama said. I'll listen to what Obama actually asks, but I hope he comes up with something relevent to the point of the hearing, which is reporting on the details of the current situation in Iraq.

    I look forward to the hearings (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:59:01 AM EST
    It will give me a much better understanding of what path Obama plans on taking with Iraq.

    I can tell you that..... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:25:46 AM EST
    Hi plan is the same as McCain's and Hillary's....a continued permanent military presence to fight "terrorism".

    In other words....occupation, occupation, occupation till we get tired of caskets coming home, or go completely broke.


    kdog, if only the real world was so black and (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:29:46 AM EST
    white.  Life would be so much easier.

    The wortld ain't black and white.... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:47:44 AM EST
    but this election is.

    All 3 major candidates support the continued occupation of Iraq.  This ain't up for debate, they have all admitted as much.

    I guess you are of the opinion we have more work to do in Iraq, and rather a Dem be in charge.  Fair enough.

    I'm of the opinion the work is done.  Err...the work we had no right to do is done.  Declare victory and go home.  Needless to say there is no place for this opinion in the Dem party.


    I'm too tired to dicker this with you (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:15:41 AM EST
    You won't hear me anyhow ;)

    Don't be like that.... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:46:36 AM EST
    I always hear you Tracy, I just might not agree all the time.

    If you think we belong in Iraq from this day forward, as do Obama and Hillary, I disagree.  We simply have no right, and if we keep it up we won't have the might either.


    Okay, I don't think we belong in Iraq (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:56:07 AM EST
    I know that all three candidates would like to think we can have an Embassy there, or at least they things leading one to believe that on the campaign trail.  I don't think it is very feasible though, but what is feasible can lose an election when it seems that people are closing doors too early.  We will have troops in Turkey, we will have troops Egypt, and we will have troops in Kuwait and we had troops in those countries before this Iraq business.  We may have more troops in those countries now after leaving Iraq, but I don't know where we would keep troops in Iraq.  Look at what is happening in the green zone again.  That isn't going to improve any as we pull troops and we can't stay there forever without a draft no matter what John McCain says.  Nor can we allow Iraq to become the new Iran or Al Qaeda central.  Oh Yeah, and the Kurds will probably be slaughtered again just like they are everytime they believe us or help us.

    I need to proofread, sorry (none / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:59:26 AM EST
    I tend to think I type as well as I talk.

    I think you type rather eloquently (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:04:54 PM EST
    but without choosing 'sides' can anyone name one country where the US has had boots on the ground and then just picked up and left afterwards?

    We are the proverbial bad houseguest.  We never know when to leave.

    I would like to state, though, that Clinton has been very clear on what the process for withdrawal will be and how she will go about achieving it.  Obama has said one thing, his advisors have said another, and I, for one, don't believe either of them.

    Only Clinton can get us out of this mess.  I don't think any American president of any party will completely remove us from the region.  There is too much oil there--plain and simple.


    We left Bosnia (none / 0) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:12:11 PM EST
    We've heavily pulled out of Europe and sometimes the German communities weren't happy about it either, lots of mixed emotions.  Whenever North Korea acts calm for a period of time someone brings up leaving Korea.  Where have we stayed where a majority of the populace didn't want us?  We left Vietnam ;)

    U.S. military is downsizing in Okinawa (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:14:22 PM EST
    at the request of the populace there.

    Bosnia (none / 0) (#114)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:31:34 PM EST
    Is not nearly as valuable an American asset as Iraq is.

    I'm glad Obama is preparing (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:12:17 AM EST
    His biggest weakness in my book is his lack of understanding about military matters and situations.  George Bush is living proof that flowery (even if it's dandelions) rhetoric and military reality never match up in real life and usually makes orators look like horses behinds in the end.  If Obama becomes president he had better study even harder too before he ends up making an even worse mess of our military situations as well.

    This is also my biggest issue (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:27:20 AM EST
    with Obama, and why I support Clinton. If we did not have troops in Iraq, I might be for Obama, but this is no time for someone with such a steep learning curve.

    People keep pointing to the fact that B. Clinton had no experience in military affairs either, but he was not elected when we had over 200,000 people (military + contractors) in a hot war zone.  In fact, he never would have been elected in that situation.


    Bill Clinton had no experience in military affairs (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:42:12 AM EST
    TRUE, but Bill Clinton did have the uncanny ability to find the best minds and the best experience that could be found when dealing with tough issues.  If those people happened to be Republicans he didn't care either, he got them all together and they sorted stuff out and he learned and listened and he always seemed to attempt to deliver the solution bearing progressive.  I don't see that ability in Obama, he is blinded by his own brilliance as B. Clinton was but he lacks that component of subconsciously seeking and finding and employing the best for the given difficulties outside of finding the best out there at creating warm fuzzy feelings about him.  I'm not sure if you have seen the video 'Fitna' about what the Netherlands are dealing with attempting to handle Islamic extremism, but this is no time for us to elect a president with such a steep learning curve militarily and the huge messes that can come with that.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:34:22 AM EST
    that Clinton proved to have the right abilities for the job.  I'm just not sure he could have convinced the electorate that he had them.  It is just a mental exercise, but what if in the first gulf war GHW Bush had continued into Baghdad and deposed Saddam Hussein, as many wanted him to do, and the mess we see now had resulted.  Would voters have elected Bill Clinton to clean it up?  I doubt it.  That is whay I just can't see Obama as electable now.

    I think it's going to be another very close (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:42:19 AM EST

    If Obama is the nominee that is (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:43:43 AM EST
    If Hillary is the nominee I think she'd toast McCain.

    Eh (none / 0) (#54)
    by nell on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:53:09 AM EST
    I think it will be close either way, though I do think Hillary stands a better chance of winning than Obama...I think the Western states of Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico that he is banking on to win without Michigan, Florida, or Ohio, are going to be very tough to get because McCain does have a lot of Western appeal, he appeals to Latinos, and if Texas is any indication from phone banking, patriotism is an issue out west...I think he could take Colorado, I am doubtful about the rest of the western states he is relying on...meanhwile, I think Hillary really does have a good chance in Nevada and even in New Mexico, while also being more likely to carry FL, MI, and OH...

    She's more likely to carry MI and FL (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:13:37 AM EST
    than Obama ;)  I think it is time that Democrats face what Obama's take on the revote may have cost them in the general!  If Iraq and the economy though stay the major issues for American voters and I don't see how McCain and hold a candle to Hillary.  He's running as Reagan and things weren't that great economically under Reagan.  She has the unspoken Team Clinton brand backing her up and whether or not B. Clinton can take complete credit for the economy he enjoyed as President, in the minds of America we are willing to risk a Clinton again in hopes of a future.  McCain seems to carry some weight in military affairs in polls right now but I see that as only temporary.  Most standard Americans are not aware of the huge military commanders following that Hillary Clinton has.  Nor have they heard her speak on the Armed Services Committee....a big score in the primaries aren't going to be had there but they are to be had in those areas in the G.E.  Heading into the G.E. she would be on balance with McCain as a future CIC and who would handle Iraq better.  She needs to be our nominee but I seldom get what I want.

    Hagel? (none / 0) (#115)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:35:11 PM EST
    He is more adamant about leaving Iraq than Clinton. Maybe he has that luxury not running for president, but Obama likes him and he seems like he would be an excellent choice to help end the war.

    Hillary has been active on the ASC (none / 0) (#19)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:15:09 AM EST
    for years. There is no way Obama can make up for his lack of experience with a few months study. That is EXACTLY what Bush promised for us. It didn't work out then, and won't work out now.

    I'm not saying he should hope to equal anyone (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:19:40 AM EST
    I didn't mean to confuse the issues with that.  I'm not an Obama supporter.  His lack of understanding military situations almost scares me to death though right now.

    Entitlement? Whuzzat? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by blogtopus on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:28:56 AM EST
    "Someone suggested that Obama be moved up past his seniority level in the order of questioning."

    Someone should maybe suggest that Obama spend a little more time in the Senate (more than the year he had when he announced his candidacy) and EARN a higher seniority level. Jeebus, what knuckleheads.

    If O wants to be heard on a committee (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:01:20 PM EST
    why doesn't he call a meeting of the committee to which he is chair?  Then, he can make all the grand speeches he likes.

    Please stay on Topic (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:44:04 AM EST
    Edger's views are not the topic of this thread. Please take it to email if you want to have a private discussion with him about his views.

    Sorry. (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:54:12 AM EST
    Still a newbie here. Please delete my comments if you wish. :-)

    If They Are OT (none / 0) (#133)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:16:07 PM EST
    Then why not delete them? His comments are intentionally provocative OT warmongering.

    To allow the comments to stand and not allow response seems unfair.


    Edgar Not Edger (none / 0) (#136)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 05:22:11 PM EST
    Who has been MIA for some time now.

    Primary aside... (none / 0) (#1)
    by ROK on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:49:05 AM EST
    I think that this could be pretty big.

    This is the time to frame McCain in the perfect light and just how we need him for November. Of course, he will be trumpeting the surge and its success, but the key will be for any of those Dems to set the debate and show the voters what they will be asking for if he ends up in White House.

    This is the best way to brand McCain as Trey Bush. It wouldn't be wrong, just harder for the MSM to ignore... maybe.

    Dave, my mind is going (none / 0) (#6)
    by joejoejoe on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:29:32 AM EST
    Look for Sen. Lieberman to be the proverbial surge in the punchbowl at the Armed Services Committee hearing for his former Democratic colleages. There will be a lot of fireworks at that Armed Services hearing. Foreign Relations, where Lugar and Hagel are more skeptical of our Iraq efforts, will have a lot less of the "THE SURGE IS WORKING!" cheerleading.

    And then Joe can smile down the table (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:04:08 AM EST
    at Obama and thank him for voting for all the funding for the war.."We couldn't have done it without you, Senator Obama!" Now that would be funny..really funny.

    let's start with: (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 06:52:43 AM EST
    the iraq conflict (notice i didn't use "war"?) should never have been. the country and congress were lied into it.

    then go to: having lied us into it, the bush admininistration then proceeded to bungle it in every way imaginable, from not sufficient troops to a complete lack of planning for the "peace".

    mccain "owning" the surge is his albatross: can you say "sadr city" boys and girls? i knew that you could. it's working so well, troop rotations out of iraq have been stopped.

    add to that: mccain's analogy of iraq to japan & korea is flawed. only one was ever an occupation force, in japan. because, um, well, they attacked us, then lost the war. the US force in korea is not now, and has never been an occupation force. it's a defense force, against the possibility of n. korea invading again.

    that he's unable to make those distinctions says quite a bit about his awareness of both current events, and recent history.

    Bush hasn't bungled Iraq (none / 0) (#81)
    by sister of ye on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:29:05 AM EST
    Not by his yardstick, anyway. He got to order lots of explosions and swagger around in a flight suit. He and Cheney got to wield a lot of power - take that, Poppy! He made lots of money for his family and his cronies - KBR, Halliburton, Blackwater.

    It's only people with humanity and a grasp of reality who are concerned with our national and world security and the welfare of Americans and Iraqis.


    Iraq would be the perfect (none / 0) (#12)
    by Arcadianwind on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 07:25:21 AM EST
    place to test out unity happy talk theories, wouldn't it? Maybe at the Hearings, Obama should offer to go over there, and get those people the fix. Then stop by the West Bank and Gaza, fix that too. I can see it now.

    The hearings could be useful, theoretically.

    I wonder (none / 0) (#14)
    by stillife on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 07:47:39 AM EST
    which "someone" suggested that Obama be moved up in the order of questioning.  

    I bet the press will be scrutinizing every interaction, real or perceived, between the candidates.  Will Obama "snub" Hillary?  That will be the story and not the substance of the questions.

    So, Obama has been preparing diligently (none / 0) (#15)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 08:03:31 AM EST
    for this hearing...the one that will be getting all the attention and news coverage and bright lights...guess that makes it worth coming off the campaign trail for.  As opposed to that subcommittee he chairs, which he has totally ignored for the last 15 months.  

    I don't care what Biden says - Kerry and other Obama supporters will strongarm him to push Obama to a better spot in the questioning - he'll plead "scheduling issues" or some such thing, and be basking in the glow of camera lights just in time to make the evening news.  

    And then there's McCain, who might need directions to the hearing room he's been away from the Senate so long, avoiding debates and votes and hearings lest it interfere with his ability to continue to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public about what his positions are.

    The only question in my mind is what sort of moves they will make on Clinton so no one gets to hear what she has to say.

    Another thing that strikes me (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:21:46 AM EST
    is how the mindset is that if someone speaks "possibly after the evening news" it will not get noticed.  What is this, 1965?  We can be sure CNN, MSNBC, and FOX will be fully covering this hearing well after the evening news.

    But presumably it will be noticed by (none / 0) (#60)
    by JoeA on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:03:24 AM EST
    fewer people,  and by a different demographic.  I would imagine that Network news reaches a wider,  and less "switched on" audience.

    McCain wants to claim ownership of (none / 0) (#50)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:47:42 AM EST
    the surge?

    Committee Republicans said McCain is ready to challenge Clinton on her statements from September. And he is likely to take ownership of the "surge" strategy that sent tens of thousands more troops to Iraq and refocused their mission on civilian security.

    Oh please, let him be this stupid.

    Good for Biden! (none / 0) (#69)
    by Andy08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:16:35 AM EST
    It's preposterous to push up Obama's turn to speak;
    he is where he is in teh Senate and that is his reality while running for President...

    Who suggested this?  

    I guess you are talking to yourself. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Andy08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 07:15:41 PM EST
    This is a side note, (none / 0) (#104)
    by 1jpb on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:07:02 PM EST
    but what is it with "Hillary," as e.g. Jeralyn uses in the headline of this post.  I know most on this site will recall that it has been suggested using only HRC's first name was demeaning and possibly sexist.  I know she has her first name all over her signs, and her first name helps to distinguish her from WJC.  But, I, even as a BO supporter, still think it makes sense to not mix "Hillary" with "Obama" and "McCain."  For this reason I use HRC and BO (on other blogs, where BTD hasn't ban me from using "H," I use three initials for BO.)

    Maybe I'm a nit-picker.

    I agree that some writers (none / 0) (#118)
    by eleanora on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:44:36 PM EST
    can sound pretty sexist and disrespectful using it, especially when they're doing heavy criticism. I used to dislike the contrast with the others too, always called her Senator Clinton along with Senator Obama and Senator Edwards. But as you said, using her first name is a quick way to ensure that people know you're not talking about Bill Clinton, which lots of people have trouble with already, and since she seems to like it and had adopted it for her campaign, I've switched over.

    Back on Topic (none / 0) (#111)
    by cal1942 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:27:23 PM EST
    Just a little rant.

    The whole let Obama jump seniority thing is another example of his campaign beyond the pale and his expectation of unearned gifts. I don't for a minute believe that he's not somehow complicit.  The scenario fits in with the rest of his career.

    The idea makes me want to vomit. Good for Biden for refusing to allow a grandstand play in what should be serious hearings.

    In the Illinois legislature it's present him the gift of other people's labor.  Two actual years serving in the US Senate as a freshman (last two years running for president) and not understanding the full implications of a vote to confirm John Roberts. Run before people get a chance to evaluate your record and discover that you're a zero.

    His dealings with Rezko are, excuse me, a revelation of his total lack of judgement.

    Do Obama supporters realize they've been had and that they're trying to ram a pig in a poke down the nation's throat? I can answer that - NO. The alleged 'creative class' has fallen for the flim flam man.

    What a terrible tragedy.

    Biden Is An Idiot (none / 0) (#119)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:57:20 PM EST
    To suggest that this is not politics, is falling for the whole R enchilada, which has failed over and over and over again. This is politics and Obama should be pushed up because we are considering choosing him as the Democratic nominee. It is important to see what he can do and how he will perform in this situation.

    Both Clinton and Obama should use this to their best advantage to show up McSame for the dolt that he is.